I’m not a big mystery reader, but I LOVE Merline Lovelace’s romance novels and I LOVE her characters. Esp. her military heroines. This auther was in the service, so she knows of what she writes. I love snarky heroine first-person POVs. I want the snorts and the eye-rolling and irreverence. So I thought I’d try her “other” genre.
THIS BOOK HAD IT IN SPADES. (Pun intended)
USAF Lt. Samantha Spade is NOT a gung-ho career-military type. She has authority issues, which makes for a rocky life in the military, and gets her banished to the backside of beyond. What saves her is her brains, and she leads of team of techno-geek misfits testing possibly beneficial new technologies for military applications. EEEK is featured in this book – an Ergonomic Exoskeletal Extension, which is just a fancy word for a robotic suit you put on and take off that enhances human abilities.
Samantha is taking the suit for a jaunt out in the TX desert when she steps into murder and mayhem and government conspiracies – literally. Soon everyone and their cousin is involved in the investigations, and jurisdictional turf wars between several government agencies ensues. It’s enough to give a poor lieutenant a major headache.
Her partner in crime-solving is US Customs & Border Patrol agent Jeff Mitchell. They have a definitely unprofessional attraction, but don’t let it get in their way…much. Both of them have relationship and commitment issues, both of them acknowledge that it has NO place in the workplace. But they’re only human, and it’s there. Adds a nice layer of subtext throughout every exchange.
The infighting and lies and coverups keep you turning the pages. Sometimes you want to laugh at Sam, and sometimes you want to shake her. Writer’s done a good job if her characters come across as real people. Samantha Spade is one of those characters you can stick with in a series – I have Catch Her If You Can to read next!